Global Spectrum, the arena-management arm of Comcast-Spectacor, which owns the NHL Flyers and the Wells Fargo Center where the Flyers and NBA Sixers play, plans to open two new halls in early September: the 10,000-seat PPL Center in Allentown, whose schedule starts with a concert by the 70s pop band the Eagles on Sept. 12; and the Alaska Airlines Arena in Anchorage, where the Alabama Shakes will do the maiden show on Sept. 13.
PPL Center, name-sponsored by the local power company, will host the American Hockey League's Lehigh Valley (formerly Philadelphia, formerly Adirondack) Phantoms, concerts and other shows. Alaska Airlines Arena will host the NCAA basketball teams for the University of Alaska at Anchorage, plus concerts and other shows. Comcast-Spectacor Senior Vice President Hank Abate says he plans a cross-continent journey so he can be at both ribbon-cuttings
Comcast-Spectacor will bring in staff from Philadelphia and other facilities to smooth the openings, said Global Spectrum President John Page in a statement. The company, 2/3 owned by Comcast and 1/3 by longtime Flyers boss Ed Snider, stands to get paid multiple ways at both arenas: its Irvine, Calif.-based Pacoilan subsidiary will manage ticketing both places; its Front Row Marketing Services will market all sponsorships and corporate boxes; its Ovations Food Services holds the food, beverage and catering concessions at PPL. In all, Global Spectrum operates 120 arenas and convention centers in the U.S. and Canada, says spokesman Ike Richman.